Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Reds Boss Demands Away Goals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Reds Boss Demands Away Goals

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Walker

RAFAEL Benitez has thrown down the gauntlet to his strike force as Liverpool look to put their away-day misery behind them.

The Liverpool boss takes his team to Wigan today searching a first away win this season in the Barclays Premiership, with just two points and one goal on their travels.

Manager Benitez admits he is frustrated by the Reds' record on their travels and the way they have spurned good chances.

He said: "It is really disappointing to still be talking about this record, it is bad and we know that. I have analysed every game, seen that we have made the most chances in most of them, but that is not good enough.

"We have the best statistics, we have more attempts, more corners, more shots. But you do not win games with statistics, only when you score more goals.

"What you must do when you have more chances is to take advantage. It is no good having the chances and not scoring."

That puts the onus firmly on Peter Crouch, Dirk Kuyt, Robbie Fowler and Craig Bellamy, none of whom have set the goals charts alight this season in the league.

Benitez says: "OK, we have had 21 chances to one or two in some matches. We are not conceding goals and we are creating openings. That means we are OK in defence and midfield, but we are not OK up front. Teams do defend deep against us, that leaves little space to create. But we have to overcome that.

"We know what we have to do. The opportunities must be taken, the strikers must do their job.

"I hope now to see goals from the strikers. Crouch, Fowler, Kuyt and Bellamy, all of them. It is important for the strikers to score the goals."

The former Valencia boss considers that teams, home or away, defend in depth against Liverpool because they know of their problems. But he says: "Teams play really deep against us, and try to steal something in the second half. They are worried about us sometimes, but we have to handle that. …

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